President Duterte eyed abolition or privatization of PhilHealth, Sotto says

(Eagle News)–President Rodrigo Duterte wanted PhilHealth privatized or abolished.

Senate President Tito Sotto made the revelation early Thursday, Sept. 17, after  the President met with him and other  Congress leaders on Wednesday night.

According to Sotto, he, however, told the President “it might be better to wait a few months and see how the new administration performs,” apparently referring to newly-designated PhilHealth chief Dante Gierran.

Sotto said he told the President he also had a pending bill making the Finance secretary the PhilHealth board chair instead of the Health secretary.

In making the proposal, Sotto said he noted PhilHealth was an insurance corporation, and not a health entity.

“(The President) agreed to my proposal,” Sotto said.

The meeting between the President and Congress leaders came after a Department of Justice-led task force wrapped up its probe on allegations of corruption in the state insurer,  and submitted its recommendations to President Duterte.

The task force had recommended the filing of administrative and criminal charges against then-PhilHealth chief Ricardo Morales and other officials over the allegations made by Thorrsson Montes Keith, who resigned as anti-fraud officer of the state insurer in July.

Keith had alleged, among others, that there was a PhilHealth “mafia” that had pocketed P15 billion in PhilHealth funds.